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Eric Greitens Education. (2012) 'The Warrior's Heart Becoming a Man of Compassion and Courage.'

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Navy 29, Us 12, Ding 6, Bruce 6, Afghanistan 5, The Navy 4, Iraq 4, St. Louis 3, Rwanda 2, Bosnia 2, Nixon 2, Julie Nixon 2, United States 2, Ian Smith 2, Bruce Carl 2, Bolivia 2, Mrs. Nixon 1, Kennedy 1, Budde 1, David Mariness 1,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Eric Greitens  Education.  (2012) 'The Warrior's  
   Heart Becoming a Man of Compassion and Courage.'  

    October 28, 2012
    6:45 - 7:45pm EDT  

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"the warrior's heart" an app adaptation of becoming a navy seal for young adultings. this is just under an hour. [applause] >> thank you. [applause] thank you very much. [applause] thank you so much. [applause] thank you. can i get a round of applause for will? [cheers and applause] fantastic, buddy, thank you very much. [applause] thank you. one of the things that's follow-up for me about being here tonight as gary mentioned, i'm from st. louis, good to do these things in st. louis, and i have wonderful people who shaped my life who are in the front row. my second grade teacher here with me tonight. welcome pat. [applause] i know that if this book can
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have the kind of effect on just one person's life that pat and my other teachers had on me, this will be a very successful book so thank you very much for being out here tonight. i appreciate. i'm going to begin the book reading right from the very beginning of the book where i asked young people to imagine themselves in the navy seal training, and this is how it starts. you stand in freezing water up to your chest. every muscle in your body throbs with pain. you're exhausted beyond anything you could ever imagine, and all around you, the curses and growns of others gutting it out like you, trying to survive the night. most won't. you know this statistics, maybe one in ten make it through this week, will survive hours, days of the punishment required to become a navy seal. the water is dark around you, but you can make out lights on the beach.
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remember you're instructor's words as the sun drifted towards the horizon, voices booming over the bull horns. say good night to the sun. tonight is going to be a very, very long night. you imagine another hundred hours of this. you see yourself plunging over and over into the icy water, pulling yourself out again. you message endless repetitions of situps, flutter kicks, pushups. surf torture, leaving you in freezing water, not just for a few minutes, but for five more days. five days of struggle and uncertainty. five days of emotional term made to separate the iron willed from the merely strong. in the distance, a bell sounds three times, and then another three times. if you hear the bell, you know that another student has chosen to quit. a voice rises and falls taunting
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you, inviting you to do the same, quit now, and you can avoid the rush later, it says. one by one, sometimes in clusters, other students surrender. all around you, all around you, they climb up out of the ocean, walk up the sand hill, and they ring the bell. for them, it is the end. the others in in your crew struggle with you, and it's their companionship and strength that buoys you. you are there for one another, you are a team, you you don't want to quit on your team, but you are bone tired and slivering, afraid you'll never make it through the night, let alone an entire week. on shore stands a brightly hit tent. others are gathered inside. their palms cupping mugs of coffee. they are wrapped in blankets. they are warm. you could be one of them. all you have to do is rise out of the icy water and walk
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towards the tents. it's easy. students have been doing it all night. just get up, get out, walk towards the bell, and quit. then you could be warm and dry like the others, then your stomach could be full, and you could feel your fingers and toes again. all you have to do is get up, get out, and ring the bell. what do you do? now, this was just one of the tough choices that we had to make when we were in the navy seal training. in the navy seals, one of the things we talk about when you have to make tough choices is we talk about having to make tough choices on the front lines. in the military, when we talk about the front line, it's the place where you come in contact with the enemy. the front line is the place where you are most challenged, and, yet, the fact is that every person and every young person has in their life, they have a front line. for young people, that front
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line is the place where their challenged. it's a place where they come up against fear, hardship, come up against difficulty, and on the front lines, it's important for young people to find ways to navigate those challenges successfully. what i know is that if they make the right kinds of choices on the front lines, that all of them have an opportunity to create themselves. we create ourselves on the front line because on the front line is the place where we can grow, and if we make the right choices on the front line, we have app opportunity to become people of compassion. we have an opportunity to be people of courage. we have also have an opportunity, if we make the right choices on the prompt line, we all have an opportunity to develop gifts, strengths, develop our abilities so that we can find a way to be of service to the people around us. if you think about how you make those decisions, one of the
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things we do in the navy sales team is we have an analogy about making tough choices on the front line, and we talk about using a compass. if you take a compass and poupt -- point it in a particular direction, you can walk all day. might walk over mountains, a forest, a desert, and what happens is at the end of the day, you end up in one very particular place. we also know that if, at the beginning of that gurn noi, you make a decision that you're going to make a change of court, and you might make a change of course of one or two degrees in your life, but you decide to change the court at one or two degrees, you start to walk the new path, walk it over mountains, through a forest, walk it through a desert. what happens is at the end of the day that you end up in a completely different place, and we know for the young men and women who we're working with
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today and those who read "the warrior's heart" is that for them, they are in a place facing a front line, where they are challenged, and they should be at the place of hardship and difficulties, and they have to act with courage. i've written "the warrior's heart" so at this place in life, you think about how you make choices in life so that over time you make choices so you can create themselves so that they can be people of compassion, develop courage in their lives, and so also they can make choices so they all get to a place where they can figure out how to use their own abilities, develop their own talents, develop their own strengths so that they can be of service to the people around them. now, in our lives, none of this happens on our own. as i mentioned, not only is pat here, but in the book, i
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dedicate this to the teachers, parkway east junior high and parkway east high school, who all shaped my life, and what i know for sure is in our lives we have to have the right kinds of teachers and role models. i tried to put in stories about teachers and role models to help people think about how to make tough decisions on our own front lines, and one of the people who shaped my life, who i write about in the book was one of my mentors, bruce carl, who ran a program called youth leadership st. louis, and when i was 16 years old, bruce carl once invited me to go down to work at a homeless shelter in downtown st. louis. as a kid, i did a lot of community service work before. i had been down, done things in a homeless shelter, but bruce said, not only are you going to the shelter, but i'm taking you and other students down, and what i'm going to ask you to do is actually spend the night
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there. i want you to spend the night in the homeless shelter, and what bruce said that was really powerful is he said it's important for you to understand how all of your neighbors are living. that it's important for you to understand how all your neighbors are living, and one. things i tried to do is i asked kids to step into the shoes of refugee e children, step into the children of the streets in bolivia, step into the shoes of seals and think about the choices to make so they can exercise their moral imagination and think about the world. what bruce did that was powerful for me was that bruce also said to me, he said, terrorist important for you to understand how your neighbors are living because you can do something about it. what was nice is bruce didn't say you can do something about this after you graduate from high school. he didn't say you can do something about this after you graduated from college. he didn't say you can do something about this after you turn 30. the message bruce gave to me at
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the time was you can do something about it now. part of the message i want to give to kids in the warrior's heart is also they have the ability right now to make a difference in their schools, they have the ability right now to make a difference in their community, and they have an ability right now to use their strengths and talents to make a difference in the world. i know from the experience i had doing international humanitarian work, the incredible people young people can make in their world. one of the stories i write about is my experience working with bosnia refugees so the photograph that i took here, i took that when i was 20 yearsed. -- 20 years old. refugees stepping off the busses into the camp, and the the moment you look at everyone here, they lost every material possession they owned. not only that, but some of them lost friends and had lost family, and in the book, i asked
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young people to think about what it would be like if you lost your home, think about what it would be like if you lost your cars, everything in your room, everything you owned, and you had to get on a bus, did into a camp, and start a new life. one of the things i know is that it was hard for a lot of young people in the refugee examples, and they were at a place in their life where they were on this new front line with a lot of tough choices they had to face. one of the things that i saw was that in the camps, it was often really hard for the young people because they felt like their life had been cut short. tremendously difficult. they lost their homes, terrible possessions, friends and family, and felt their life was cut short, but they didn't feel like anyone else was counting on them. they didn't feel they had any social purpose in the camp. the kids who i saw who were doing the best in the refugee
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camp were the young people, sometimes 12 and 13 years old who made a decision they were going to volunteer. one of the things they started to do is they started to work with the youngest kids in the camp. now, you think for a second, think about what it's like to make sure that we're able to provide a quality education to every single young child in st. louis. think about how difficult that is. then you think about what that challenge is like in a refugee camp, what's that is like, no classrooms, no curriculum, no building. part of the reasons they did that successfully in the camp was because a lot of young people stepped forward saying i'm going to volunteer, find a way to serve. one of the lessons in the warrior's heart is that if you're in a place in your life where things are hard, difficult, and you might be afraid, and there's hardship is that you actually become stronger when you find ways to be of service in your school, you find ways to be of service in the community and of the
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world, and not only does that help the world around you, but that actually makes you stronger. what was neat for me to see was how this started to take off in the refugee camps. there was a boy who was 15 years old, no budget, no supplies. he just had one soccer ball, and what he would do every afternoon is take the soccer ball out, and this was app open field near the camp, and he set up a soccer team for some of the youngest kids in the camp. one of the messages that we also want to get across in the book is that the message for young people is that you can find a way to serve right now, in this tough place, if all you have is a soccer ball, there's a way for you to serve, that all of us can find a way to serve no matter the circumstances, we can all find a way to make a contribution. now, i walk young leaders through a lot of the adventures that had in life, and one of the places we go to is rwanda, and i was working in rwanda in 1995, a
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couple months after the genocide where you remember between 800,000 to a million people killed. .. you created a shelter for yourself. you are healthier than so many others. you grab food and water when
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it's given out, hiding some away for when the supply runs dry. one day as you lie in the shadows of the blue tarp you hear a sound. you roll over and press your hands against your ears, about the sound reaches you still. a little child crying. you rise and leave the comfort of the shade in front of your shelter stand two little boys. they're barely clothed and the tears leave trails on their faces. they stand with their mouths open like baby birds scared. you could take them in your shelter and share. you could dry their tears, give them sips of water and they're not injured. but you have yourself to worry about, too. and everything you give to them is something you take from yourself. if you don't offer, they might find help elsewhere or they might die.
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the sun beats down hard. they stand and look at you. you could yell at them, scare them away, or you could stand aside and let them in. what do you do? what do you do? we ask young people to imagine themselves in that tough situation and think about what they would do. one message we haver young leaders is many of them might not necessarily be in a situation right now where they have to make life and death decisions, about actually saving other people's lives, but all of them are in a position today where what they do can shape the life of other people around them in their classrooms, in their schools, in their communities, they have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of other people. and one of the ways we suggest to do that is think about the lessons i learn from this boys. so this group of 15 boys was led by a 16-year-old boy. one of the things i write about
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in the book, when i asked the 16-year-old boy to tell me about all of the other kids in the group, i'll never forget. he says to me, this one is powerful with fire, and was cooking. this one is powerful with -- as he went around the group, he described every single boy as being powerful in some way. i think there i saw part of the power of his achievement. you think about what the 16-year-old boy was able to do? to keep 15 boys together and alive through month0s -- months of disease and deprivation. the reason he was able to do that so successfully, where he was facing difficulty and pain and hardship. the only reason he was able to walk the path its because for him he knew the didn't have to walk it alone. he was walking, in his case, with these other young boys, and he had the true humility that allowed him to look at every
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single person around him and see every single person could contribute in some way, and that was the power of his service at that moment. now, for me, in my own journey, as we take young leaders through, one of the things, we leave places like bolivia and cambodia, and eventually i take them into the navy seal training. for me, when i left the humanitarian work and went to navy seal training, i went to place called budde. stands for basic underwart demolition training. the basic seal training and often considered to be the hardest military training in the world. in my class, class 237, we started with over 220 people, and by the time we graduated we were down to 21. now, what happens over the course of the training is that every single day they hit you with a different task or
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different challenge. so i take young leaders through those challenges, for example, like they ask you in the very first week, come up to the edge of the pool to jump in, do a front flip underwater and then swim 50-meters underwater. one of the first challenges in the first week of the training. later, they ask you to swim down 50 feet, tie a knot, and come back up. they have you do firemen carry drills where you throw somebody over your shoulders and run down the beach, or one run with them through a path in the mountains. they ask you to land small rubber boats on jagged rocks, often times in the middle of the night. and there's one evolution called drown-proofing, and what happens is they tie your feet together, and then they tie your hands hip -- behind your back, and then you have to jump into the pool. with your feet tied together and your hands behind your back, you
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have to swim 50 meeters. you come basketball from swimming 50 meters, and they ask you to blow all of the air out of your lungs and sink down to the bottom of the pool, and then go up, and then sink back down. the next thing they asked us to do, i actually laughed when they said what we had to development i thought they were kidding. they said the next thing we're going to, we're going to take your face mask and throw it in the water, it's going to sink the bottom of the nine-foot section, and then with your feet tied together and your hands behind your back, you're going to swim down to the bottom of the pool, going to grab the face mask with your teeth, then you're going to swim back up to the surface and back down five more times. when you have to do things like this, the instructors would always call them evolutions. so the instructors would say, the next evolution is drown-proofing, or the next evolution is the 50-meter underwater swim or a four-mile timed run in soft sand, and i
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had no idea why they were always calling them evolutions. i thought, why detroit just call them the next test or challenge or the next really painful thing we have to do. then finally one of the instructors explained to me why they called them evolution. what they said was, everytime you're on the front line and you make a decision, you make a voluntary decision that you're going to confront your fear, what happens is that your character evolves. everytime you make a voluntary decision that you're going to move through pain in order to serve a larger purpose, your character evolves. everytime you make a voluntary decision that you're going to do something hard, you're going to do something difficult, do something where you might even suffer in order to being stronger, your character evolves. and the idea was that they were going to create evolution after evolution after evolution so that eventually, all of us could
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get to a place where our characters had evolved and we had become navy seals, and then as navy seals, we could find a way to be of service to the people around us. what i know for young people -- which is true for all of us -- if we think about what it actually takes to make the tough choices and walk this earth so we can develop live with compassion and develop our own abilities to be of service, when we walk the path it's going to be hard. we're not going to be successful every day. it's going to be difficult. and we're going to run into hardships and be frame. i also know if we move through that, move through the fear, we become courageous, if we move through the pain, we achieve wisdom. if we move through the things where we suffer we become stronger, and every single young person can, through a process of evolution, come to a place where they develop strength, where
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they develop courage, develop wisdom, and they can use that strength and that courage and that wisdom to be of service to the people around them. when you continue with the training, the pinnacle of the seal team training comes in a week considered to be the hardest week of the hardest military training in the world, and it's the week that's called hell week. what happens in hell week is that the average class sleeps for a total of two to fewer hours over the course of a week of training. as you're going through the training you're doing things like doing physical training on the beach with logs that weigh severely hundred pounds. running races with you're team in and out of the ocean. the water off the coast of san diego, regardless of season, is often in the low to mid-50s. they make sure you have plenty of time to appreciate the water. they have you running the obstacle course throughout the week. and it is a week of constant chaos and change and challenge and confusion.
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if you ever want to quit at any time in hell week, all you have to do, at any time in the training, all you have to does raise your hand and say, i quit. or you can raise your hand and say, i drop on request. or, there's a small bell and if you walk over to that bell and ring it three teams it mean -- three times it means you quit. instructors during hell week would rig up a contraption so wherever the class went, the bell would follow us, and if you asked the instructors, why do you follow us around with the bell and make sure it's never more than 30 or 40 yards away from the class. the instructors say, we do that because we believe in excellent customer service. so they follow you around with this bell as you're going through hell week. and i can remember what was for our class the hardest moment of the hardest week of the hardest
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military training in the world, and that moment came at the beginning of the second night. so, for a lot of people, their adrenaline carried them through the federal night and the next day, and as we arrived to the beginning of the second night and we're thinking, i am more tired and more exhausted and more beaten than i have ever been in my entire life, and we're thinking i cannot believe is this only the beginning of the second night. at which point you hear an instructor get on the bull horn and say, that's right, gentlemen, it's only the beginning of the second night. what they did then at the beginning of the second effect. they took the class out and lined up on the beach to watch as the sun was setting, and as the sun was going down, the instructors came out and got on their bullhorns and started to get inside people's minds. and they said, say good night to the sun, gentlemen. tonight is going to be the most painful night of your lives.
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and we're catching. this week, just gets more miserable as we go. and we're watching the sun go down, and i can remember, i was standing there, and i saw out of the corner of my eye that something broke in the class. and people started running for the bell. running for it. and you could hear it going off, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. we had more people quit our class at that moment than quit at any other time in all of the training. this is what was amazing about that moment. i told you about all the difficult things they asked us to do, swim 50-meter underwater, swim down 50 feet and tie a knot. tie your feet and your hands and make you jump in the pool. who would have thought the hardest moment of the haddest week of the hardest military training would come when all they actually asked us to do is stand on the beach and watch the
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sunset. that's all we had to do at that moment is stand on the beach and watch the sunset. when i'm with young people i ask them how many times have you been able to go out and stand and watch a sunset. every single one raises their hand and they know they can do it. every one of us can stand and watch a sunset. what was so interesting about this moment was i told you we went from over 220 people down to 21? i can count on one hand the number of people i saw quit when they were actually doing something. what would happen is people would quit when they started to think about how hard it was going to be. that's when people would quit. when they started to imagine how difficult it was going to be, how hard it was going to be. that's when people would quit. one of the things we know is a case for young people, when we think about having to do things that we're afraid of in our life, when we think about what it takes to challenge ourselves on the frontline and move through hardship and difficulty, one of the lessons, one of the things we need too do is find a way in our own lives to take it
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one step at a time. if we can find a way to take it one step at a time and to confront our fears and do our work all of us can find a way to make it through those things that are difficult, develop our own abilities, back people of compassion and courage and find ways for us to be of service. now, for me, when i finished with the navy seal training, i deployed four times. i first went to afghanistan and then to southeast asia and then to the horn of africa and then finally to iraq. in the book i talk about my experience in iraq, where i was on the frontline, and in march of 2007 i was the commander of an al qaeda targeting cell and our mission was to capture al qaeda leaders and in 2007 my team came under attack with a
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mortar attack in the morning. and after several mortar rounds went off, there was a suicide truck that went off. when the suicide truck bomb went off, it ended up taking out the entire western wall of our barracks. and that day, later that day, i was taken to the fallujah surgical hospital and 72 hours later i was able to return to full duty. that day some of my friends were hurt a lot worse than i was. one of the things i say to young people, the people who i went to visit, when they came home, saw they were on this new frontline. these were veterans, proud, strong people, who served in places like iraq and afghanistan, and they came back and especially after they had been injured, they were at a new frontline and had to make a decision about the direction they were going to go. a decision how they were going to deal with pain, going to work through difficulty and hardship in order to find ways to
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continue to be of service here at home. and what i found was that all of the men and women who i talked with when i came home -- i bent to bethesda naval hospital. i talked with people who lost both of their legs, one young man lost the use use -- use of his right arm. another lost most of his hearing. when i asked them, what do you want to do when you recover? every single one of them said, i want to return to my unit. the reality was, for a lot of those men and women, they were not going to be able too return to their units. the real was that on this new front line, all of these men and women who had come back from their,all wanted to find a way to continue to serve. so i took my combat pay from iraq, my friends put in money from their disable checks and we started the mission continues with the intention of challenging veterans who had come home to find ways on this
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new front line in communities across america to find ways to continue to serve and continue to inspire. so we worked with men and women like josh from st. louis, who came home with a serious traumatic brain injury. men and women like sean who had a traumatic brain injury. men and women like amanda who was hit by a mortar round, ian smith with post-traumatic stress disorder, mel -- mel lisa, shot by a sunshiner. adam burk, hit by a mortar round, and what we share with you can people, they're in a place they came back to their communities and they were on a new frontline and many of them were afraid, and i was difficult. what we did with them at the police continues, we challenged them. we challenged all of these men and women in the say way we challenge young people.
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find a way to continue to serve so that josh ended up serving at the st. louis science center. adam, who was hit by the mortar round set up his own nonprofit. julian served with habitat for humanity, sean became a youth hockey coach and football coach. ian smith did a fellowship at the police continues and then did an internship and the white house with the first lady's office for her joining forces initiative. melissa steinman became a biology teacher, and for all of them, they started to serve again and took on this challenge of finds a way to continue to serve on the new front line. and what we found at the mission continues, is all of them have been able to serve as inspiration for young people around the country. and i finish the book with this challenge for young people. you pause over the last page.
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your own life feels filled with possibilities. you think about the kind of story that you might tell one day about your life, your love, your service, your adventure. the road before you is long. it will wind up steep hills and down into low valleys. moments of spectacular beauty long the way, and times of deep pain. but as you take each step, you have the opportunity to create yourself. you have the opportunity to become compassionate, to become courageous. you have the opportunity to become committed to causes greater than yourself. you will be inspired and you will inspire others, and you'll find your own unique path. the world needs you. we need all of your strength, all of your creativity, all of your heart. you can make a positive difference in the lives of others. take it one step at a time, and
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know that it's up to you. the world is waiting, what will you do? and my final note to all of the young readers, go be great. and then i offer them in the last chapter, the very last chapter is called, your mission. i tell them they're at the heart of this book and i wrote it with them in mind and i direct all of them to a mission planning guide that we have set up that accompanies the book, so that young people around the country can figure out how they take their skills and their passions and their interests and may can turn the things they love and the things they care about into their own mission of service in their community and in their country. one of the things we're trying to do is help young people do what we all need to do in our lives, to find their own vocation. and we talk about a vocation as the place where your great joy
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meets the world's needs and if young people start at a young age to pursue these missions and to do this work that all of them can find ways in their lives to create a life of purpose, where they become courageous and camp passionate. and we also know this is only possible, as it was possible in my life, because of wonderful teachers so we built a teachers guy to help teachers teach this book and teach these lessons to young people and to spread this message that all of them are capable of creating themselves, all of them of capable of making a contribution. one of the most fun things i have had a chance to do over the course over the past week is to talk with young people around the country about the warriors heart, and for me, it's been a tremendous labor of love, and i'm grateful to all of you for coming out to share this day with me. thank you very much for having me. [applause]
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>> i think we have time for some questions. so, i'd be happy to take some questions for the audience. >> hello. how does a humanitarian in situations of such tremendous loss, particularly with young people, become inspired to pursue a mission as a highly trained military asset for the u.s. navy? >> great question. part of it was -- i write about this in the book. there was one moment when i was in bosnia, and i was actually in a shelter in a refugee camp, and i was with one man who had his own family surfed tremendously. and i was in that shelter, and he said to me, i appreciate the fact you're here. don't get me wrong. and i appreciate the fact
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there's a shelter here for my family. i appreciate the fact that my kids can go to a kindergarten and i'm glad there's food here, but he said if people really cared about us, they'd be willing to protect us. and i didn't know what to say to him at the time. i was only 20 years old. i remember reflecting on that later, and realizing that what he said was true. that if there's anything in our life that we really do love, anything that we care about, that we're willing to responsible to it of course with care and compassion, but it's also the case that the things we care about in our lives are things we love, we're also willing to act with courage. we're willing to protect people, and willing to love them in that way. so i started to think about what it meant to really care about something, and to live a life with both compassion and courage, and i became cop -- convinced there were times when people with strength needed to step forward and use that strength in order to protect other people and that's what got me thinking about the united states military.
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i was very fortunate also, both of my grandparents, my grandfathers served in world war ii, and i thought about what they had done for me and previous generations and that led me to think about the military, and i joined the military when i was 26 years old, and i still harbored desires i had probably since i was will's age. i had desires i had to jump out of planes and scuba dive and that also attracted me to the navy seal team. so all of those things shaped my path into the team. >> eric, i enjoyed your speech. >> thank you. >> after the gentleman came out writing the book that was supposed to be in regards to the navy seal about the bin laden attack, obviously there were a lot of threats on him and his family. you've been a retired navy seal. has this happened to you? >> sir, it has not happened to me. i think what happened in that case was that there were -- it was a very specific mission, and
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there were concerns about some very specific classified and sensitive information that was actually contained in that book, and of course, he was part of that mission and he was -- there were concerns about threats against him. what we have done in the warrior's heart is all of the information we have shared is publicly available information about what happens in the navy seal training, but we have put it together in such a way that people can think not just about what navy seal does and what they live through but they can think but how they reflect on that and make it part of their own lives as they think about their own challenges if think because the books are different in that way, we haven't had any problems, and in fact had a tremendous amount of support. so, it's been a lot of fun. >> yes, ma'am. >> how many navy seals are there and when did the navy found the seals? >> so, on active duty right now the navy seals are the smallest special operations force.
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so at any time there's probably between two and three thousand actual navy seals, and those navy seals are not only serving on the front loans but working at places like the pentagon, central command, in afghanistan and iraq, and there's probably 2,000 to three thousand navy seals. they started on january 1, 1962, bit president john f. kennedy. the reason why he started the seals, he wanted to have a force -- seal stand for sea, air and land commando. and president kennedy wanted to have a force of people, dedicated and highly trained force, he could put into difficult situations who could not only respond tactically and using physical courage but could also respond and use their minds and be thoughtful about working in some very difficult, dangerous situations, and his theory, the international relations theory was called the
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flexible response, and the deal was the united states needed to respond in a flexible manner, not just using nuclear weapons which was the theory at the time. we needed to be able to respond in a flexible manner to any threat and that led to the development of the seal team. >> care to comment about the latest book about bin laden raid? >> sure. the question was, would i care today to comment on the latest book about the bin laden raid? i don't think that was a good -- is a good book to write. one is i've got tremendous respect for admiral mccraveen. you may know is the four star navy admiral. he took over from admiral olson, and one of the things admiral mccraveen said there was some classified or sensitive information in the book, and it's really important we keep that classified and sensitive information secret so that we can protect other navy seals
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when they conduct these operations in the future. i think the other people that people in the seal community feel is that -- it's obviously fine to write other book. my friend mark has written a book, chris, other navy seals who have written books to let people know about the force that they are supporting, but this particular book was about an operation that was a team operation. and i think that the concern was, this was something that an entire team did, and because it was a team operation, if the story was going to come out, should be a story from the team rather than from just one person. that was kind of some of my reflections on the book thus far. >> did you have a question here? yes? okay. yes, sir. >> first, i want to say thank you for your service. >> you're very welcome. >> the question is, do you think that the details you go into on the seals training, any negative
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feedback from the community about pulling the curtain back, taking the mystique out of the seals? >> the answer is we have had a lot of positive comments from people who are in the seal community, about this aspect of the training. like admiral eric olson, four star navy seal admiral. i shared the book with him ahead of time. one of the things we found is all of the things i talk about are in the basic training the basic underwater demolition seal training. there have been documentaries on the training, lots of other videos on the training. when it comes to the advanced combat training, the seal qualification training, that chapter is much shorter. it's much slimmer because of exactly this point. ain't important that a lot of the specific techniques and procedures all remain secret. this basic navy seal training, the bud training, is the grueling part of the train, the part where where a lot of people
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are weeded out and also the part where there are lot of lessons about what it takes to think outside of your own pain, think about the fact there are other people who are counting on you, think about what it takes to move through fear and become courageous, so i tried to share those pieces of the training and make sure the advance training and the specific tactics, techniques and procedures remain secret. ...
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the question is if i had to what i want them to be navy seals. so for me the thing that would be most important for my kids is if they do what they would love to do. that is the thing that would be most important to me to get if they came to me and they told me that this is what they want us to do i would support them and i would encourage them in whatever way that i could. but there are lots of different ways to serve. so what i would encourage them to do, and i think what every kid should do is find their own way to be of service but if this is what they want to do i would encourage and support them. >> thank you. >> you're welcome, caitlin. did you have a question? >> how long is the seals
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training? >> what is your name? >> logan. >> it's about a year and a half to go through the basic training. i joined the military on january 20, 2001 and officially became a navy seal on july 3rd, 2002. by the time i went to the officer candidate school and the advanced training was about a year and a half of training. one of the things we do is we talk about always been in training. so even if you get what we call the trident, which is that symbol up there, even when you put that on your chest and you become a navy seal, we know that for all the fuss the training never ends. that we always in our life have to be learning and reading and training and we have to be studying and that is part of the commitment of being a navy seal is that you are actually going to dedicate your life to finding ways to continue to grow and to learn.
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>> what at fais her do you have? >> wonderful. what was your name? the question was what advice do i have for young people aspiring to be navy seals? one of the only things i say to young people aspiring to be navy seals is it's important for them to dictate the need to dedicate themselves to doing well in school. one of the things we know is actually it is the most highly educated force in the united states military. and what we are looking for in the teams are not just people of physical courage and technical proficiency. we are looking for people that can be thoughtful and so i always emphasize they should spend a lot of time on their studies and they should develop their minds and those intellectual habits and academic studies. that's important. second, i do encourage young people to get involved in athletics. in athletics to find ways to run up against hardship, to learn
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from coaches and mentors and role models that's the second thing we encourage them to do and the third thing that i always encourage young people to do is find a way to start making a difference, to start serving now. and i believe this young people can find a way to start serving in their community that eventually what happens is they will start building have its and the bill the habits of teamwork. to learn that it's it takes to actually put them in place they can one day be navy seals and volume was fired by young people who decided he would create his own mission and he did. he created his own mission and he took his act and chopped the fire was and he was able to support the work that we do at the mission continues in a tremendous way so i always encourage young people to spend that time to get involved in athletics and develop themselves physically and find ways to continue to serve in their community. yes, sir.
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>> how do they prepare you for the psychological -- >> yes. >> how do we protect that [inaudible] >> we talk a lot about the physical training and how we actually build psychological strength. how we build emotional strengths so when people going to these circumstances they are better prepared to deal with situations that might lead to post-traumatic stress disorder and make it through so one of the things we found that important for dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder is it's important for people to feel connected. when people come home and phil connect and they feel understood, they feel understood by their family and community and by their team. one of the things that is so difficult now is if you add up
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every single person that set foot in iraq or afghanistan, you have all of the people that set foot in a a record afghanistan it still adds up to less than 1% of the population. so what happens a lot of times is that men and women will come back from serving in iraq or afghanistan and they might return to their community and find they are in a place where no one else served. on the front line the evin experience as combat and they can actually feel isolated so one of things we have to do is we have to make sure that people are connected to their families come to their teammates and community. that's one thing we have to do. the second thing that we found especially as the mission continues is one of the ways to actually step out of those difficult moments is to create that new mission said that you are not stuck in a place where you are worried about what's happened. what me to do is create a commission for people when they come home, and we found for our fellows some of whom were in
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very difficult situations and were even considering committing suicide and some of whom had a serious cases of post traumatic stress for rifles underneath the bed having trouble the and on college campuses, what happened for them is when they felt like they were needed again, when they felt like there was a mission for them and they started to get involved in their communities in a positive way, what happened is they were able to refocus a lot of that mental energy not on the past but on the future because they started to do that they found ways to process what had happened and we see the manifestation of the some of the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder over time. the third and final thing we need to do for the young men that have come home that are facing this is to let them know that this is normal. is an absolutely normal thing to have an abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation. a situation of extraordinary violence and difficulty in hardship it is absolutely normal to come back and to not want to have somebody stand behind you,
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to not want to be sitting in a restaurant in the middle of lots of people. that's a normal reaction. one of the things we have to do when people come back is make sure that they know that this is a normal and a natural place, and to let them know that there are many people that have been able and found ways to work through this. so we have to give them hope by letting them know that this is normal and that there are models for them for people that have done this successfully and if we can do all that and keep people connected and let them know there is a sense of purpose and that it's all right where they are at increased models for them that have been successful at transitions we find a lot of people went in very severe cases of post-traumatic stress disorder are able to beat the symptoms come overcome the condition and find ways to lead fulfilling lives again back here at home. >> we have time for one more question. yes, sir. >> i was driving to work today and they had a small segment on the question they thought they were going to ask the candidates tonight, the debate. they speculated that they would
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ask what else can be done to improve the lives of returning veterans and to build on the question i'm just curious in addition to dealing with post-traumatic stress how would you like to see the candidates answer that question because you obviously thought about it a great deal. what else is lacking that he would like to see them answer tonight? >> great question. one of the things that is lacking in the country is that we haven't really put the message out to the american public about what an incredible asset this group of veterans or that are coming home. so, we have 2.4 million veterans that have set foot in places like iraq and afghanistan. and as they come home, what's important for us to recognize is these men and women are bringing the leadership skills that come from the world, tremendous teamwork skills that come from their deployment. they know what it takes to inspire people in difficult circumstances and they can all be assets to the community. we need to get that message out
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that the veterans should be welcomed home as assets. too often when people read about veterans or think about federal and state immediately about post-traumatic stress disorder in the brain injury. they might think about suicide or unemployment and we immediately start to focus on of these issues and problems and what we found is if we start to recognize veterans as assets and we welcome them home in that way and we ask them to continue their missions of public service, that all of them not only rebuild a sense of purpose and their lives but they also become stronger by giving that. so that's one of the things i would love to see happen in the country and that is a part of the conversation i think we should all have your cows of fellow citizens. >> thank you very much for coming everyone. [applause] a nov we are a nonfiction network.
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how do you write a novel about t watergate? how do you approach that? big >> the reader will find thatpres what gore vidal used to call the agreed upon fact most of the bin ones are still intact. president nixon still resigns in 1974, the same basic time line.h it's not what sometimes but i think what they can do with the existing history is in certain things in between. and then try to get an inside the heads of some of the peripheral players as well as some of the main players. >> a republican operative in the nixon white house without a business card bought in the white house directory. it fell to have to be the man
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who coordinated the payments to the burglars. >> historical fact. >> is this historical fact. and a very small softspoken intriguing man. he had a tragedy in his life when he was young, when he was in his late 20's he accidentally killed his father while they were out hunting. and he was an intriguing figure. i remember thinking he had the kind of personality i want to think about and export. he becomes a main player in the novel even though he was a relatively minor one in the scandal itself. >> is the protagonist in your novel? >> i'm not sure there is. about seven different points of view. some big people, some less figures. president nixon, this is nixon, the main character. eleanor roosevelt longworth approaching 90 at the time of the watergate scandal, teddy roosevelt staffer, still very
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sharp, still very humorous and would be. and she is sort of my one-woman which course with the long historical memory. howard hunt, one of the burglars who was one of -- the only person that i knew, actually. i knew him when i was in the magazine business. he was from an article for me when i was a gentle it -- jevons quarterly. i had him review a spy novel. he used to write them. and elliott richardson from the investigative side of things and a few more rail -- relatively minor, the president's secretary a great many of the players actually had their homes there. the mitchells live there. it was not just the headquarters of was there to be burgled. >> now, david mariness -- thomas mallon, yesterday we spent some time here at the national book
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festival. do they feature in watergate to the novel? >> in a minor way they come and go. julie nixon was a very valiant defender for father. david eisenhower was a good father lot throughout the scandal. julie nixon wrote a very good could -- a good book about her mother, of the least known of the first lady's that we had in modern times. never heard from again after the nixons left the white house, never did interviews, never wrote her own memoirs. and mrs. nixon was somebody i tried to bring to life in the book. >> you have written several historical fiction books, nonfiction, novels. how do you approach historical fiction? >> i always tell people who are contemplating writing it if they have not before, don't leave too much about the time you're writing

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